Arroyo mug shots in Inquirer – Photo | Picture

Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo on Tuesday said the pictures published on the Philippine Daily Inquirer were not the real mug shots of detained former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. “[I] just clarified that they are not [the] real mug shots after verifying with the [Criminal Investigation and Detection Group],” Robredo told GMA News Online when asked to confirm his statement that the photos were fake. Robredo, however, clarified that he “did not denounce anything.” The Inquirer on Tuesday published Arroyo’s purported mug shots as its banner photos, saying the images “did not come from the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) which has refused to release the police photos.” The broadsheet said these came from sources “who requested anonymity.” GMA News Online is still trying to get the side of the Inquirer as of posting time. ‘Inaccurate, incomplete’ The Inquirer mug shots showed a person who appeared as Arroyo, and who wore a neck brace, along with her name and supposed Criminal Case Number R-PSY-11-04432-CR.
But Robredo said the numbers in the supposed mug shots are “inaccurate” and the information is “incomplete.” “Many will attempt to produce one [copy of a mug shot],” Robredo explained. [We] will just stick to [the rule] that it will not be released.” GMA News TV’s “State of the Nation” newscast consulted some lawyers about the legality of making Arroyo’s mug shots public. The lawyers said it could violate a Constitutional provision that protects any prisoner or detainee from “the employment of physical, physiological, and degrading punishment.” For her part, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said that to publicize Arroyo’s mug shots would violate the former president’s rights. “Normally we don’t do that because it violates certain rights of suspects. Remember, she’s only a suspect or a person in interest. She’s not yet the accused because of this pending motion for reconsideration with the case before the RTC,” Santiago said in an interview with reporters. The publication of Mrs. Arroyo’s mug shots, however, could be symbolic for the public, said University of the Philippines public administration professor Leonor Briones. “Dati people were so scared of her; she was the most powerful woman. They also want to feel that really, you cannot get away with anything… I think they want a strong message that no one is exempt from the workings of the law,” Briones said in an interview aired on “State of the Nation.” – VVP, GMA News
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